IT'S won a string of awards and, since its' launch in February last year, the Volvo XC40 has established itself as one of the UK's top selling premium compact SUVs delivering unprecedented sales growth for the Chinese-owned, Swedish brand.
But that doesn't mean it couldn't be made even more desirable and with, that in mind, Volvo is introducing new powertrain options and features and adding to the car's already generous specification levels.
The XC40's 1.5-litre, three-cylinder, T3 petrol engine, which was added to the range last summer, benefits from an increase in power, from 156 to 163hp and is now available with the option of an eight-speed automatic transmission, in addition to the existing six-speed manual gearbox.
As a result of the changes, the manual version's 0-62mph time is cut from 9.4 to 9.3 seconds, while the smooth-shifting automatic takes 9.6 seconds. Efficiency has also improved, with WLTP combined fuel economy of between 37.2 and 41.5mpg for the T3 manual, against figures of 36.7 and 39.8mpg for the previous version. The manual car's CO emissions are also lower, ranging from 142 to 146g/km, compared with 144 and 148g/km previously.
The two-litre four-cylinder T4 petrol engine is now available with two-wheel drive and is priced £1,400 below the equivalent all wheel drive version.
Sporty R-Design models fitted with automatic transmission now come as standard with paddle shifts while other additions to the already comprehensive standard equipment list across the XC40 range include the addition of auto-folding door mirrors, the addition of a 12v power outlet in the luggage compartment, a locking glovebox and a load protection net.
And on the safety front, the XC40's optional blind spot information system has been upgraded with a new function which automatically applies corrective steering to return the car to its lane helping to avoid the risk of collision with another vehicle in the driver's blind spot.
The XC40 range will soon expand further with the introduction of a T5 petrol-electric plug-in hybrid variant with UK deliveries slated to start in early 2020. Meanwhile the updated current XC40 range is available to order now, with on-the-road prices from £28,965.